FAQs: Understanding Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Licensing options

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 offers a number of flexible deployment options. It can be deployed on-premises, hosted directly by Microsoft, or hosted by a partner. Depending on which deployment option you choose, there are three different ways to buy Lync.

1. On-premises: To deploy Lync on-premises, you need a license for each of your Lync Server 2010 instances and Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each of your users or devices. You can acquire standalone licenses for Lync, or purchase licenses in combination with other Microsoft products in the Enterprise CAL Suite.

2. Microsoft-hosted: For a Microsoft-hosted Lync deployment, you need a User Subscription License (USL) for each of your users. Similar to on-premises Lync licensing, you can purchase standalone Lync Online subscriptions or in combination with other Microsoft products as part of the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite.

3. Partner-hosted: Microsoft has a large partner ecosystem to help customers build, deploy, and service Microsoft Lync Server 2010 products and solutions. Contact a partner directly to host your Lync infrastructure or help you build a next-generation communications experience.

Lync Server 2010 Feature Details:
Standard Edition: A Standard Edition server is ideal for pilot and lab deployments or branch offices that do not have high availability and performance requirements. It is intended for deployments with fewer than 5,000 users either in total or at a particular location.

Enterprise Edition: An Enterprise Edition server has all of the Standard Edition server features; however it provides scalability and high availability. It is intended to allow an unlimited number of users in any location/configuration.

Q1: Will I obtain rights to the Lync 2010 client when I purchase Lync Server 2010?
Ans: No, Lync 2010 is not included with either the Server or CALs—it is available for purchase as a standalone license or as a component of Office Professional Plus. The Lync Server 2010 CALs provide the rights to access IM and Presence, Audio/Video/Web Conferencing, and Enterprise Voice features through the Lync 2010 client.

Q2: What high-availability options exist in Lync Server 2010 if I want a highly stable and scalable infrastructure for our Lync architecture?
Ans: Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Server offers additional flexibility for licensing and deploying high-availability servers.

Q3: Is an External Connector available for companies that want to offer authenticated access to non-employees such as corporate alumni, retirees, or partners?
Ans: Yes, the External Connector licensing model is unchanged in Lync Server 2010. We have added the Lync Server 2010 External Connector Plus Edition to the External Connector offering.

Q4: What are the key licensing and pricing changes in Lync Server 2010?
Ans: While there have been numerous improvements across all the Lync offerings, we have focused some of our biggest investments on the Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL and the new Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL— separating Audio, Video, and Web Conferencing and adding new Enterprise Voice functionality to the Plus CAL. As a result, we have decreased the price of the Enterprise CAL by over 20 percent. All other prices are unchanged.

Q5: Are there any licensing prerequisites for Lync Server 2010?
Ans: Yes. Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 are required to run Lync Server 2010. For each Lync Server 2010 CAL, there are other possible prerequisites for underlying Microsoft technologies—primarily dependent on the features within Lync you would like to utilize. These include, but are not limited to, Windows Server CAL, Exchange Server Standard and Enterprise CAL, SharePoint Enterprise CAL, and Office Professional Plus.

Licensing, pricing, FAQs and information for these options are described in more detail in this guide (.xps).

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